Social Enterprise

10 reasons NOT to block social networking at work

Jack Wallen says employees should have access to social networking sites at work. Do you agree with his reasoning?

Holiday rerun: Has your company softened its stance on access to social networking sites or does it still enforce restrictions? Here are some arguments worth revisiting.

I get it... You're completely convinced that allowing your employees to get on Facebook and Twitter would pull the rug out from under your bottom line. Because of that, you block chat, tweets, and all other social networking to make sure your workers are doing only what you pay them for. I am here, however, to suggest that there can be a backlash from that approach. Social networking can actually help you in the long run, and I want to try to open your eyes to this fact. In the end, of course, it's your business and your call. But let's see if you can be swayed.

1: Morale

Back in the '90s, people wanted to be hired by companies that were cool to work for. And when the employees actually enjoyed working for a company, they did their best work. Morale is a huge aspect of the business world, but few owners and managers seem to get it. Low morale among the workers breeds contempt, and contempt breeds disloyalty. Disloyalty, as you know, breeds attrition.

2: Reputation

Your reputation is everything in business. And in this day of instant gratification and notification, finding yourself with a reputation going down the drain is little more than a disgruntled employee away. That does not mean you must cater to every whim and folly of your employees. But giving them tiny crumbs (like social media access) will go a long way toward keeping your reputation healthy.

3: Communication

Communication -- whether it's internal or external -- is key to business success. One of the fastest means of communication today is social networking. In fact, it's just about the most immediate form of communication you can find. Your employees may be communicating with the outside world, but many of those people on the outside are consumers and possible clients.

4: Advertising

Dare I say "free advertising"? I dare and I do. Social networking brings to businesses a boon of free advertising. You can't afford not to hop onto this bandwagon. And getting on board early shows the public that you are an agile, aware company. Allowing your employees to take advantage of social networking also shows you care about them. In this society, caring goes a long way. All of that makes for some seriously powerful advertising.

5: Collaboration

Social networking facilitates collaboration internally, but it also lets users collaborate with the entire world. I have done this countless times. When I've been stuck on an idea, I call out to my followers on Twitter or Facebook to get a deluge of answers. It's free and it's fast.

6: Social research

You need your finger on the pulse of society. You can get this with your employees on social networking sites. In fact, you'll have instant access to the court of public opinion even as it evolves in front of you. This is another (free) way to expand your company's reach.

7: Skill building

Your company and its employees need to know how to use social networking effectively. Why? Because our society is on a collision course with an even further embedding of social media into our lives. You want your company and your employees at the forefront of that trend. At some point, your employees may have to use social networking to market and sell your product. Allowing them to use it on a daily basis now will ensure that they're social media savvy, without the need for training.

8: Transparency

The world wants transparency. We've seen it from every level of business and government. Allowing your employees to participate in social networking illustrates to your employees' social circle that you mean business when it comes to employee retention and happiness. Today's consumers and society eat that up. But if they see a company deliberately squelching the employee voice and hiding behind the walls of security and information blocking, there will be a backlash. Transparency can go a long way toward boosting customer loyalty as well as your customers' faith in you as a business within the community.

9: PR

Blocking social media may unleash PR problems. The effects of blocking social media will trickle down to the public -- quickly. And although you might not think so, this can quickly snowball into a PR nightmare, especially as more and more young employees -- who depend upon social networking -- join the workforce.

10: Networking

You want your company to network. You want your employees to network. You want your employees to know what other companies are doing and to be in touch with the heartbeat of your market. What better way to accomplish this than with social networking? Yes, they can network with email, but not on as grand a scale.

Worth a try?

For most managers and executives, the bottom line will yank the rug out from under these reasons. But times are changing and it's certainly best to keep up rather than scramble to bridge gaps and fill holes. I would highly recommend allowing social networking in your company -- even if only experimentally. See how it affects performance and morale and then decide whether it's a perk worth keeping.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

75 comments
PGS-AU
PGS-AU

Kidding, right? I have a young fellow working (ok, occasionally working) in my section who, out of an 8 hour day, might do 3 hours work. The rest of the time is spent on his phone updating facecrook. Personally, I'd like to install a signal jammer for mobiles here also. FB, ebay, twitter, etc are blocked at the server.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Many of my IT counterparts in my company and other organizations are the reason the company blocks many social networking sites. There are times when they behave like overzealous centurions and advise higher-ups to block these sites. Fortunately, some senior management types at work have requested to unblock the more popular sites. I have found some organizations blocking cloud sites. I get messages from users at these places because they cannot access a file from my site (linked to a cloud service). Their IT geeks will unblock long enough for them to download the document then block it again. I think they confuse the cloud with bit torrents. Or maybe they're just control freaks.

kktm
kktm

Sounds like the green light to mess around all day and not do any company related real work. If everyone did this in the name of marketing what a joke company you would be. Absolute waste of company time not to mention the security risk and words being being fixed in stone that could damage the company. Good try.

captainanalog
captainanalog

allow social networking. Everyone knows that networking and having all those "friends" is more important than having ability, loyalty, intelligence and a strong work ethic.

Ben_in_CA
Ben_in_CA

I must say, I thought of the big companies like Apple (and even Google) when I heard "transparency". Like the transparent iPhone pre-launches? People might like transparency, but when you look at the numbers, Apple seems to be doing nicely "behind closed doors"... There is a time for security, too, and personally I'd prefer if all the folks at the bank weren't downloading Facebook widgets or visiting potentially malicious short URLs from Twitter... Should sales and marketing teams be using these means - yes, I think so - but not all employees during work hours on their work systems.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

All those points can be turned around by the same forces that you tout as reasons for allowing social media and turn it into a disaster. Waste of time Loss of company data Loss of reputation Legal issues Poor morale and so on.... The only good thing I can see is that you may get a jump on discovering bad actors so that you can deal with them.

Georgia Madman
Georgia Madman

Before my employer clamped down on unfettered Internet access, we monitored usage and discovered to our horror that 68% of traffic was to on-line dating sites. Our workforce is mostly married. So absolutely nothing good would come from unfettered access -- affairs and divorces hurt productivity and morale.

gcorbo
gcorbo

The comment I would make was already expressed nicely by LK04. For every positive point made by the author, there could (and often is) a negative side concerning social networking in places of business. Who wouldn't want networking from employees and the opportunity to bring new customers. Nice idea, but I read dozens of stories about employee misuse of social networking in the workplace, and have personally seen (in IT field) people waste an entire 8 hour workday with things such as Facebook. In fairness, I have seen this behavior also with non-social networking websites - such as personnel wasting hours at a time on ebay. People will likely learn all the aspects of social networking on their own, but if a company wants to invest a small amount of time training certain employees in SN - fine. But not to give all employees carte blanche to use it on a daily work basis. At this point in time, the negatives will outweigh any possible positives.

tony
tony

1 - leaking data - a data breach can cost large fines and loss of reputation. Some social networking sites have tortuous privacy settings that are continually changing. You talk of collaboration, but what if that is between two people dealing with sensitive information e.g. a person requiring care at home? 2 - malware - social networking is yet another entry point for malware. Made worse if you use HTTPS because that then bypasses UTM and other perimeter protection methods. 3 - reputation - feeling annoyed - well venting your frustrations immediately to social media is not going to enhance the reputation of you or your employer 4 - legal - social media is publishing, and thus liable to the laws of libel. Journalists are (or should be grounded) in at least the basic law around this; your average Facebook user is not. 5 - security - the more that is posted publicly, the more data can be joined up and build a picture of an organisation - thus aiding in social engineering attacks ... add 5 more of your own I hear all the arguments about it being great for publicity, but unless social media is totally different, consider the adage that applied up to now - "one dissatisified person tells 10 others; a happy person tells one". Thus negative information grows 10x faster and propagates 10x wider than positive information. Certainly when I look at comments on news articles, negative comments usually outweigh the positive comments significantly except for the occasional good news story (a rarity anyway). There are some business for which utilising social media to its fullest extent is a business benefit, but for many others, the risks outweigh the benefits. Back in the mid 1980s (circa 1986) I experimented with using a BBS to post common responses to technical support issues. (BBS were probably the first social media). However, in less than a month, it became clear that a limited number of individuals were using it to post personal attacks and so it was shut down. Social media is not the great panacea that will make all businesses greater

Clendanielc
Clendanielc

The number one reason I hear from companies that have very sensitive client data is that they do not allow social networking because of the fear of an employee leaking out client data through Twitter, Facebook, etc. They are afraid that Mary Anne from Customer Service will take a photo and post it to her Facebook account to steal a clients identity. Now Mary may be 67 years old but she is an avid Facebook user. She posts photos of her family, her pets, and even her art collection on Facebook daily. She always has scripture to quote daily for all her friends to see. However, don't let the perfect granny image fool you. She is secretly working with a network ring of hackers that steal people's identity and sell it for million of dollars each year. How else would could she afford a pre-owned 88' Buick LeSabre? It has dice hanging from the mirror so that right there is a dead give away. Do companies have a legitimate worry about employees stealing clients data? If I did that, I rather not be known, work from an outside source, and try to hack my way in.

franciscojanes
franciscojanes

With modern security solutions, it is possible to fine-tune who can access what and how. Allowing company-wide social network access could be a productivity threat, and this extends to using personal email services and other sites famous for everything except getting work done. As I have once heard..."when your employees are browsing away, they are stealing time and productivity from the company, and that is a crime". Would you accept your staff to go outside and speak on the mobile to their friends for 5 minutes every 20 minutes? The temptation to open that browser and get immersed within it will also affect internal communication: staff are there.....however they??re not "on".

coffeeshop
coffeeshop

This is one of those things which management needs to assess on a case-by-case basis. Like allowing employees to take 'extra' cigarette breaks, personal phone calls or go a few minutes extra at lunch, anything has the potential to affect the bottom line but employee morale has a huge value as well. Consider it as an advertising expense. We allow it here but there's a very clear 'social media' policy in place and, considering the alternatives, no employee in his or her right mind would argue that the policy is 'unfair'. Like previous writers have said, employees ARE being paid to work, and it's fine to monitor and adjust social media usage as necessary.

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

Companies that block social sites make the false comparison of thinking if the employee were not on that site, then s/he would be doing actual work. The fact is that some employees actually work at work whereas others will spend their time on the social network or on-line perusing news sites or off-line reading the newspaper or off-line hanging at the coffee pot or just hanging out in other cubes annoying the folks who are trying to work. Same deal with managers. Some do their job and others waste their time blaming the wrong things and dealing with the wrong issues.

GlennHughes
GlennHughes

You can't get away from the use of personal devices whether it's a tablet or smart phone and the access they give to the Internet, SM, games etc. If someone is lazy or doesn't want to work they won't, either by playing on their iPad, BB etc. or drinking coffee, reading the paper or going to fictitious off site meetings. SM and mobile computing is not the root problem. Hire the right people in the first place including the line managers who should be addressing non performance of staff. Our organisation has set up a forum where our s/w engineers can develop their own apps and deploy to staff via an app store style platform. The response has only been positive from both the engineers and staff that download the apps. Not specific to SM but the point is we embrace new tech, behaviour and ways of working with the right level of controls for a corporate (e.g. Productivity, security etc.). It does motivate people and stimulates ideas and I'm working on a dedicated support service for this type of IT consumerisation. Again my management team are enthusiastically working on implementing this including coming up with a counter proposal resourced within the existing budget when the idea was nearly stopped due to financial pressures. Rather than reject this type of thing out of hand I recommend evaluating it to make an informed decision on whether all or some of it can add value to your business whatever it is. Hello Tomorrow!

billjacobus1
billjacobus1

Plenty of valid arguments here to keep SM off of corporate and SMB networks. The only problem is that you are fighting a tide of young people that have been raised with SM. It is the exact same thing as trying to keep tablets and iphones out of the enterprise. Frankly, I would rather have employees use SM on the company computers than to have the same communications taking place on their own devices. The complete untethering that is created because they are using their own devices gives employees the feeling that they can post whatever they want to social media sites (the boss/company sucks, etc.) . I can monitor the network and then send monthly departmental (targeted at the offending department) reminders concerning the acceptable use of SM and the consequences of violating the acceptable use policies laid out in the 'employee handbook'. Get used to it, it is the future. The day might come when employees choose an employer because they are "facebook and Twitter friendly". Remember the generation you will be dealing with. Even some of the Gen X crowd is dumb enough to post stuff like "the boss sucks" on their FB page. Imagine a younger generation that feels no need to modify the privacy settings on their SM apps, and looks at corporate data policies as intrusive and unwelcome. Brave new world, friends.

ManoaHI
ManoaHI

I used to work at a company that blocks almost everything. Internet mail was blocked, social media was blocked. We had our own IM service so employees and clients could send/receive business related messaging. But I also worked in a place where they blocked almost nothing. Employee activity is monitored, I was tasked to occasionally have a look at the logs. Generally there was a bit of Facebook, but not excessive. With around 1,000 employees well under a hundred messages. But that was only through our network. I could see a number of people typing into their phones in the break room.

garylavery
garylavery

Would you allow your clerks to spend 2 hours on the phone "socializing" in the name communication, networking, publicity, morale, reputation, etc.? Of course not. There is only 1 reason to allow social networking: business need. My salespeople legitimately have that need. The rest don't. Do they abuse it? Yes. But nothing's perfect. Jack: Try MBWA (a LOT) in a centralized organization (i.e. an office) that allows social networking. You'll have a new opinion VERY quickly.

VincenzoAI
VincenzoAI

I'm not going to launch a diatribe, just comment that I am amazed at the level of tyranny and lack of imagination that has been expressed here - thankfully balanced by some sane comment. For those that think that social media has no place in Healthcare: Can you show me a more cost effective way to get the word out about diabetes, smoking, alcohol abuse...etc etc? Sure, it is conceivable that someone who works in a health practice could potentially tweet patient information - never have heard of it happening - but that is an issue of core professionalism and no technology can be blamed for that. This also applies to all other areas in work-life. Instead of blanket punishing every employee for abusing work time try making an example of just the perpetrators through withdrawing privileges and foster a responsible culture.

n8rpot8r
n8rpot8r

I block this stuff for a living and I don't remember the last time I was on a network and pulled flow from their internet connection and facebook, youtube, twitter & some other time waster wasn't on the top ten list of things being done on the network. It's simple, if you want people to get their work done, then block the sites. If it creates a big backlash you can always do what I do... create a "party time" rule in the firewall and let them surf over their lunch hour. That way everyone wins. Just my humble opinion.

pgit
pgit

Turn on, tune in, and drop out. And may God help us.

johnnylately01
johnnylately01

Do you want your nurse or doctor to tweet "I can't believe Mr X tested positive for AIDS OMG!"? How about when the CIO and others in IT are sued and/or arrested for allowing nurses to update their Facebook when the patient monitors are left ignored? There are cases like that already because their organization thought one or more of the reasons in this article were valid. "Don't be a statistic" trumps all of the above rules.

dbc_techrepublic
dbc_techrepublic

I'm not really in agreement because a company wants to control the message sent to the outside world. Why don't expect all employees to have savvy marketing skills - why would we? That said every employee will simply reach for their phone if it is not available on the desktop. Keeping it off the desktop merely prevents them from copy/paste.

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

I think all the points are very valid. I work in a corporate environment, have work in small business and even owned a few myself. It is more about adequate management than over controlling adults. If the proper policies are in place, employees are educated and trained on all policies, have proper employer/employee communications and involvement, you have a higher morale and better commitment from the employee's also. If the policy says no personal social media on company computers is a no no during specific or all times, for specific positions, etc, then is management issue to have a proper relationship with their employee's that they have the ability to lead and management that environment, if can't they are not a good manager, and in my experiences, many are not. Now there may be some positions that take special considerations, but over all just out right blocking is not the proper work environment for any access, except to block potentially harmful sites from malware, etc. Except for having a policy that prevents discussions about an employer or work related content, no one has the right to barr anyone from being associated and using any media or saying what one wants without any repercussions in their private lives and/or on their own time using their own resources period.

WardChristman
WardChristman

1 - Referrals: Locating and retaining talent is typically paramount for any business and the best source of quality hires is via employee referrals... so the easiest way to do that is to have employees share your jobs via their social networks and refer their friends to your recruiters. 2 - Performance: if you hire professionals and treat them like school kids you deserve low morale and low performance. If your employees are performing their job and deliverying the results you expect in a professional way then who cares if they hang by the social water cooler more than you think they should. Besides, most people have FB and Twitter, IM etc. on their mobile phones, are you going to collect them in a bucket when they show up for work?

da philster
da philster

SN sites are just another electronic version of water cooler time- wasters. Businesses in the past did just fine without these supposed "rights". Time for a reality check.

Zolar
Zolar

Forgot to mention that employers soon won't be allowed to demand their employee's facebook or other social networking passwords as a condition of employment. So the employee will have total privacy and the employer cannot protect themselves. Simply this - block ALL internet access for regular employees. They don't need it to do their jobs.

Zolar
Zolar

There are far too many abuses when you allow employees access to social networking. Take for example a car dealer. The ladies and sales people get on social networking but the body shop mechanics aren't allowed equal time. This is blatant discrimination to say the least. Why should any employer allow a typical employee to be paid to skylark or even malinger while on the employer's dime? If I were a large employer I would most certainly block anything that had no direct relationship (in my SOLE opinion) to the employee's job. People are desperate for a job so the 'cool' company theory is out the door. They goof off and steal time from the company then there are at least 1,000 others who would gladly take the job and NOT violate or abuse the company policy nor waste the employer's time. You are paid to do your job, not promote anything. That job belongs to whomever the employer pays specifically to do that (marketing division and only things related to the company). Playing online games or gossiping about your sex life or other non business communication should be grounds for immediate (INSTANT) termination. Doing that is the exact same thing as stealing from the employer. How many of you would be happy if your local public servant (police, fire, trash man, etc) decided to take off sick while getting paid for it and go shopping or golfing or whatever especially when you needed them to do their jobs?? That is an abuse of the system and theft from the employer. The private sector is no different. Typically women are the ones in the position to seriously abuse the internet with social networking since most of them are at a computer terminal. Go ahead and allow them to use social networking and not allow others who do not have regular access to social networking to have the same time and access to the services and see if you don't open yourself up to lawsuits. And you should definitely be taken to the cleaners for discrimination. Best is to never allow an employee access to social networking unless your specific job entails ONLY social networking marketing and specific research. The above list the author posted for this thread is absurd. They want to justify outright theft by trying to rationalize employee abuses of their job. Only those whose jobs do not specifically require access to social networking will want that access. This is because they are dishonest and plain old thieves. That's a thought. Stealing internet from your employer should land the employee in jail just as if they stole money out of the account or register. Stealing is stealing and it is wrong.

davep.l
davep.l

We had a web appliance which was taken out to be upgraded. Unfortunately the new device proved to be a pain in the neck to configure and then kept locking up, and we got to the point where it had to go back to the maufacturer to be replaced. During this time we had to do without any content filtering. Absolute nightmare with employees diving onto SNsites all day and then complaining when I finally blocked them.

tommy
tommy

Maybe this is an exceptional company profile, but we deal with customer confidential and highly sensitive company confidential material on a daily basis. For security reasons alone, there's no way that I will allow access to these sorts of sites, any more then I allow access to hotmail, yahoo or any other non-corporate e-mail systems on the business network. I've got a completely segregated network that does allow access to everything for general surfing, including facebook etc., but permitting access to social media from the users desktop on the secure business network. No way! Not in this environment.

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

There is NO NEED for FB or any of these other distracting sites to be accessed from company computers period!! The work the company deals will never require any use of these sites!!! My opinion is that unless your are in a business that requires access to these various sites then NOT ON COMPANY EQUIPMENT or TIME ($$$). If it were possible I would jam employees phones (iphones,BB,etc.) from accessing these sites when within the walls of the office! If your on FB on your iphone,BB then you are not working when on the clock!!!!

pgit
pgit

...and tell her the cover has been blown. Damn, I KNEW I never should have given her those fuzzy dice.

spdragoo
spdragoo

I didn't realize that issues like the dangers of smoking and alcohol abuse were brand-new. Must be my imagination playing tricks on me, as I could have sworn I've been hearing about the dangers & side-effects for decades, as well as seeing those "Surgeon General" warnings on cigarette cartons/packs & advertisements all of this time...not to mention seeing & experiencing first-hand the effects in family members. Now, if you're talking about doctors & nurses wanting to provide more up-to-the-minute results to particular patients ("Mr. Doe, here are your lab results..."), that would be different. But again, I think we can rely on something a little more private than Twitter or Facebook. Do you really want all of your Facebook friends to see the post from your doctor's office about your latest blood pressure/urine test results... or would you prefer to receive them in a more private e-mail? Same with appointments & exams: people really don't need to know that your urologist is expecting you next Tuesday, that's a private matter between you & him.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That's a great idea, but it should be handled by the community outreach employees or similar department. It shouldn't be in the hands of all employees, who may not know how to effectively phrase information so that it educates and doesn't scare. The same applies to the public interactions of most companies.

Avatarxz
Avatarxz

IMO...you're dead on! d;o)

myangeldust
myangeldust

It's troubling when IT people attempt to become the stick that management didn't know they had. Worrying that employees might spend time online doing something someone doesn't consider work is not a sys admin's job. The only way to measure performance is if a task is completed in the time allotted, and under-budget. If not, is it that person's fault or is there a slacker in the workflow? I've seen people miss deadlines simply using Microsoft Word - they tend to over-write contracts and summaries. I've seen others spend a lot of time shopping online but they fulfill your requests faster than expected. The biggest distraction in many offices I've worked in is the amount of time some employees spend on the phone (landline or mobile). At times they become so engrossed in a conversation that typing is no longer heard. But even if we still had switchboard operators it wouldn't be their job to control that. It's still a manager's job to firmly guide the team to task completion. IT is just auxiliary support. Did you read that IT dudes and dudettes? The office wanker does get invited to happy hour. (Still the best place to network with the more attractive or simply willing employees in your workplace.)

eaglewolf
eaglewolf

1 - Referrals: locating and retaining talent is good and, quite often, employee referrals are a great way to do that. However, if your employee is spending an excessive amount of time on SM and recommends others who do likewise, is this good? Do you really want more employees who spend their workday on FB/twitter, not working? 2 - Performance: if you hire professionals and they act like school kids then you deserve the reputation of being a company that doesn't produce and lacks innovation. Yes, most have all the SM on their mobile phones, but setting professional standards of use and employee expectations sets a company apart as having an idea of what quality is vs. what's a day care center.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

what am I paying the recruiters for? If the only way an employee communicates with that 'friend' is via social network, does the employee really know that person well enough to recommend them? As to mobile phones, we recently made it a policy violation to use them in many portions of the factory and warehouse. This applies to all employees who may pass through those areas, regardless of their position in the food chain. Maintenance department employees are exempt.

jeb.hoge
jeb.hoge

The elephant in the room is mobile data devices, because employers cannot do a thing about them on a technical level. That means that employees' time management is a MANAGEMENT issue...if your staff isn't turning in the expected level of performance, what difference does it make where they're frittering away their time? Second, the points about using SM for knowledge gathering and opportunities are quite valid. If you're in a business where you see no opportunity for growth or benefit from SM, then you're probably lacking in imagination for starters, but sure, put a clamp on it. However, if you're in one where you can identify ways to use SM tools for public communication, marketing, outreach, or other opportunities, then doesn't it make sense to have your employees be conversant in SM in a way that's acceptable to your organization? Don't you want to have a policy in place that guides your staff in business use of SM, that sets standards for communication, and that enables them to be good stewards and advocates for your organization? Better to understand and manage it than to forbid it, in my opinion.

n.smutz
n.smutz

I suppose a lot of us are doing IT for non-problem-solving/non-creative industries. I would presume that, where people are really working their noggin and have intellectual interest in their work, the water cooler becomes a productive place. Simply describing a problem to someone else tends to stimulate a breakthrough, and taking conscoius thought away from a complex roadblock clears mental blind-spots and increases the chance of intuitive solutions. A shrewd boss would put a marker-board next to the cooler. I think this is what the article was getting at. That and its worth considering the opportunity cost of.starting a fijt with your workers against actual productivity gained by muzzling them.

Lairdo
Lairdo

I am with you 100% here. We just upgraded to a newer version of our Network Security device, which is now catching things that were slipping by previously. We just need our staff to do what we pay them for, not to use the corp network as their social media playground.

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

You just might, with suitable posted notice, be able to jam cellphone use within your office space. After all, any true emergency can be handled through the office's main number. Its been that way for decades and worked very well.

grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051

Really, if you have to force people to do work, then you'll have them trying to avoid work at every opportunity. Relaxing the oppressive company attitude and treating employees like they are people with lives and trusting them to get work done enables them to get more done and be happy about doing work.

nwallette
nwallette

If employees can use their phones, why do I need to pay for network infrastructure to support their habits? No. You need your dose of celebrity gossip? Use your phone and pay for the MB you use wasting your time. Keep that crap off the production network.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The FCC has issued very few jamming exceptions. Not even federal prisons can get jamming permission, even to block prisoners from conducting criminal activities on cell phones they're prohibited from having in the first place.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Made me push the button 5 times today. My Finger is worn out and I'll be unable to use it for weeks now. A line from Gorge Jettison who's sole job was to push a button when the system needed reseting at Spacely Space Sprockets or whatever it was called. I don't currently know of any business other than Government Departments maybe that can afford to pay people to Goof Off all day and never do any work. Private Enterprise unlike Government Departments do not owe their workers a living or even a nice place to work they require work to be done and caring a bit of paper round all day does not qualify as Work unless you are on the Board of Directors and even they demand that the work gets done. Once upon a Time before Computers they employed a Typing Pool which had lots of young girls who did the typing. They where replaced with 1 worker and a computer, Personally I can not see any business going back tot he days of the Typing Pool and expecting them to place expensive equipment and even more expensive Internet to every worker to pay them to Goof Off all day is only something that an Idiot would think is desirable. Col

Lairdo
Lairdo

I am not sure if any of you have been in Large Datacenters such as Terremark ( now verizon ) or someplace such as Equinix @ 350 Cermak in Chicago but these buildings are designed in such a way that they make cell use very difficult. Add on top of that the electrical noise from a few thousand computers and you have a good cell phone block. It seems to keep the staff on task not checking FB every 30 seconds. Or looking for the most recent cat picture on instragram. If it was legal to have a cell jammer in my office building I would have one sent next day.

pgit
pgit

That's the one... the episode was entitled "Miri" I believe. (btw not sure where this post will end up, yours doesn't have a reply link on it)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As in, "Bonk, bonk on the head"? Are you a grup?

pgit
pgit

...what.. are you using your cell phone in a movie theater atm? :) "Movie theaters and other performance arenas would love to block calls. I favor clubbing phone-using theater patrons as if they were baby seals." LOL... my wife and I use that reference often, which we've boiled down over the years to where all either of us need say is "bonk-bonk!" and the point has been made. 10 bonus points for anyone knowing the common cultural origin of our use of "bonk-bonk!" Now I'll go one further: club anyone who's conversation is intelligible to anyone other than the 2 parties on the call...

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

while this is just ensuring no signal gets in or out of your building and not producing a counter signal. Anyway, put enough steel in a building and the cells won't get through too well, so I doubt they could justify saying a passive system built in to the building constitutes jamming, but I'm not a US Fed dept bureaucrat.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That's what the prisons want to do, and they can't get approval. I'm familiar with the types of facilities you describe, but the DOD or DOD-supporting research is about the only organizations that can get approval these days. Movie theaters and other performance arenas would love to block calls. I favor clubbing phone-using theater patrons as if they were baby seals.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

what was essentially a Faraday Cage as the external walls and roof. I know it's been done for certain Dept of Defence facilities and DoD research units in the US as we got the plans for such from the US DoD a couple of decades back.